Fantasy basketball tips and NBA betting picks for Monday

ESPN's fantasy basketball and basketball betting tips cheat sheet is your pregame destination for basketball betting predictions and our best intel and data to help you make smart fantasy and wagering decisions. NBA game odds for December 5th are provided by Caesars Sportsbook, and fantasy advice is based on ESPN 10-team leagues.

What you need to know for Monday's games

Home 'Dogs: Four teams (Orlando, Charlotte, Toronto and Houston) opened as home underdogs today and there are some interesting trends forming for teams in such a spot this season. Thus far, home underdogs are 64-50 ATS, turning an 8.2-unit profit if you blindly bet that side in every occurrence (assuming -110 odds). That'll work. But if you've been willing to roll the dice on the moneyline (juicy options tonight in Orlando and Houston), you've been rewarded even more. Home 'dogs are 54-65 outright this season, but when you factor in some big upset victories, blindly backing that side is +35.4 units. Food for thought as you put together your Monday card.

Low Totals: The pace of play and advancement of analytics has forced bettors to adjust what they view as a "low" over/under these days, but it has proven profitable to pay attention. This season, home teams in a game with a total below 223 points cover at a 57% clip, a number that shrinks to 51.2% when the total rises above 223. It's an interesting threshold and three games on tonight's slate qualify.

Questionable Superstars: Listed as questionable for Saturday's matinee against the Kings, both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George ended up being late scratches for that blowout loss to Sacramento. With the "Q" tag tonight against the Hornets, it will be compelling to see how many minutes these two oft-injured wings play in a game against a depleted Charlotte roster. We could also see Philly's James Harden return from a long absence, as he's listed as questionable and has told reporters he's prepared to play against the Rockets in Houston this evening. It's wise to have tempered statistical expectations for players returning from injury, but it's good to see some big names heading back to the court.

Adding Atlanta: In just his second career start this past Friday, Hawks rookie AJ Griffin produced 24 points to go with three swipes in 34 minutes of action in a win over Denver. The Duke product, a free agent in 98% of ESPN leagues, has shined when called on in most spots this season and now with John Collins and De'Andre Hunter sidelined, he's likely going to play heavy minutes again tonight against the visiting Thunder. Teammate Bogdan Bogdanovic (72% available) was quiet in his debut a few days ago, but is going to play more and more as the team needs his shooting and creation leading second units.

Campaign Continues: In speaking with reporters on Saturday, both Chris Paul and coach Monty Williams indicated the guard's return from a lingering heel injury will still take some time. While Paul is shooting and working on the floor with teammates again, it doesn't appear his return is imminent, which means Cameron Payne remains immensely underrated as an interim fantasy star. Payne, a free agent in more than 70% of ESPN leagues, has averaged 15.2 points, 7.1 assists, and 2.3 3-pointers per game as a lead creator with Paul sidelined and should prove busy again tonight.

Pace Yourself: It's been a fun few days for Indiana rookie Andrew Nembhard, as he sank a buzzer-beater against the Lakers last week followed by rich statistical performances in recent outings, including 16 points and 14 combined rebounds and assists on Sunday in Portland. Rostered in just two percent of leagues, Nembhard is joining fellow Pacers rookie Bennedict Mathurin (42% available) as productive professional freshmen in Indiana. Mathurin couldn't find his shot last night in the loss to the Trail Blazers, but with Tyrese Haliburton ruled out due to a groin injury, he did loft 15 shots and is due to be busy on offense again tonight against the Warriors.

-- Jim McCormick and Kyle Soppe

Game of the night

Phoenix Suns at Dallas Mavericks
8:30 p.m. ET, American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas

Line: Mavericks (-3)
Money line: Mavericks (-140), Suns (+118)
Total: 221.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 231.7 points
BPI Win%: Mavericks (60.4%)

Questionable: Torrey Craig, Christian Wood
Ruled Out: Chris Paul, Cameron Johnson, Jae Crowder, Kemba Walker
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Fantasy streamer: Cameron Payne (available in 75.2% of leagues) should be an every-game fantasy starter as long as Chris Paul remains out. In his 13 starts in place of Paul, Payne has averaged 15.2 PPG, 7.1 APG, 2.8 RPG, 2.3 3PG and 1.1 SPG in 31.4 MPG. -- André Snellings

Fantasy streamer: Tim Hardaway Jr. (rostered in 14% of ESPN leagues) continues to be a great streamer and his 49-point fantasy performance against the Knicks on Saturday night reinforces that. For three consecutive games, he has scored 34 or more fantasy points and played 31 or more minutes. -- Eric Moody

Best bet: Devin Booker over 30.5 points. Booker has been scorching of late. He averaged 45.3 PPG in the three games leading up to Sunday's 38-point blowout win over the Spurs, in which he was able to go light with a season-low 28 minutes played. He should therefore be fresh for tonight's matchup with Luka, in what could very well turn into a one-on-one matchup between MVP candidates. -- Snellings

Breaking down the rest of the slate

LA Clippers at Charlotte Hornets
7 p.m ET, Spectrum Center, Charlotte, North Carolina

Line: Clippers (-4.5)
Money line: Clippers (-170), Hornets (+143)
Total: 216.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 225.3 points
BPI Win%: Clippers (56%)

Ruled Out: Paul George, Luke Kennard, Norman Powell, Dennis Smith Jr., LaMelo Ball, Gordon Hayward
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Milwaukee Bucks at Orlando Magic
7 p.m. ET, Amway Center, Orlando, Florida

Line: Bucks (-9.5)
Money line: Bucks (-455), Magic (+345)
Total: 225 points
BPI Projected Total: 236 points
BPI Win%: Bucks (75.8%)

Questionable: Brook Lopez, Grayson Allen, Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday
Ruled Out: Gary Harris, Jalen Suggs, Chuma Okeke, Mo Bamba, Wendell Carter Jr., Jonathan Isaac
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Best bet: Jrue Holiday over 24.5 points + assists. It bodes well for Holiday that the Magic have been dominated by point guards throughout the season. After being given Saturday night off, he is expected to play tonight. The Magic rank 27th in points allowed per 100 possessions. Holiday has averaged 28.6 points + assists over the past three games. -- Eric Moody

Oklahoma City Thunder at Atlanta Hawks
7:30 p.m ET, State Farm Arena, Atlanta

Line: Hawks (-6)
Money line: Hawks (-225), Thunder (+185)
Total: 236.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 234.1 points
BPI Win%: Thunder (76.2%)

Ruled Out: Justin Holiday, De'Andre Hunter, John Collins
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Best bet: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander over 30.5 points. SGA has been a walking bucket all season, averaging 31.1 PPG for the year thus far. He's scored 30 or more points in six straight games and has gone over 30.5 in seven of his last 10 games. The Hawks have fire power, particularly in the backcourt, and SGA may have to put points on the board for the Thunder to stay competitive on Monday. -- Snellings

Boston Celtics at Toronto Raptors
7:30 p.m. ET, Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Line: Raptors (-1)
Money line: Raptors (-110), Celtics (-110)
Total: 227.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 226.2 points
BPI Win%: Celtics (59.9%)

Probable: Juancho Hernangomez
Questionable: Marcus Smart
Ruled Out: Otto Porter Jr., Precious Achiuwa
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Best bet: Pascal Siakam under 37.5 points + assists + rebounds. Since returning from his groin injury, Siakam has played well. He has averaged 24.3 points per game, 6.0 assists per game, and 7.0 rebounds per game in the last three games. In spite of that, the Celtics have done a pretty good job of containing big men this season. Boston currently ranks 12th in points allowed per 100 possessions. Siakam can be contained by the Celtics. -- Eric Moody

Best bet: Clint Capela over 26.5 points + rebounds. Capela plays against a Thunder team that allows the most rebounds per game to centers. Oklahoma City also ranks 20th in points allowed per 100 possessions. With John Collins out, the Hawks are shorthanded, which could lead to Capela playing more minutes. In the last three games, Capela has averaged 14 points and 13 rebounds. -- Eric Moody

Philadelphia 76ers at Houston Rockets
8 p.m. ET, Toyota Center, Houston, Texas

Line: 76ers (-8)
Money line: 76ers (-320), Rockets (+250)
Total: 221 points
BPI Projected Total: 233.3 points
BPI Win%: 76ers (75.5%)

Questionable: Georges Niang, James Harden
Ruled Out: Tyrese Maxey
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Best bet: Shake Milton (ranked in 22.3% of ESPN leagues) continues to be a solid streamer despite James Harden's return tonight. Tyrese Maxey is still out with a foot injury. Although Milton's fantasy ceiling may not be as high as in recent games, he can provide a decent performance against a Rockets team that ranks 28th in points allowed per 100 possessions. -- Eric Moody

Miami Heat at Memphis Grizzlies
8 p.m. ET, FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee

Line: Grizzlies (-1)
Money line: Grizzlies (-110), Heat (-110)
Total: 224.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 230 points
BPI Win%: Grizzlies (63.5%)

Questionable: Max Strus, Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro, Gabe Vincent, Dewayne Dedmon, Jimmy Butler, Steven Adams
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Best bet: John Konchar (available in 94.2% of leagues) has been a solid glue guy starter for the Grizzlies ever since Desmond Bane went down. In his 10 starts, Konchar has averaged 10.6 PPPG (48.1 FG%, 92.9 FT%, 42.2 3P%), 7.9 RPG, 1.9 3PG, 1.8 APG and 1.2 SPG in 31.5 MPG. He's made at least one 3-pointer in every start and has also grabbed at least one steal in eight of 10 games. -- Snellings

Indiana Pacers at Golden State Warriors
10 p.m. ET, Chase Center, San Francisco, California

Line: Pacers (-11)
Money line: Warriors (-600), Pacers (+430)
Total: 236.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 237.8 points
BPI Win%: Warriors (82.3%)

Questionable: T.J. McConnell, Tyrese Haliburton
Ruled Out: Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole
Note: BPI numbers factored in players who are ruled out but assumes questionable players will play

Analytics edge

BPI highest projected totals

1. Golden State Warriors (124.1 points)
2. LA Clippers (122 points)
3. Oklahoma City Thunder (121 points)

BPI lowest projected totals

1. Charlotte Hornets (111.8 points)
2. Toronto Raptors (111.8 points)
3. Houston Rockets (112.8 points)

BPI top probability to win (straight up)

1. Golden State Warriors (82.3%)
2. Oklahoma City Thunder (76.2%)
3. Milwaukee Bucks (75.8%)